Skip to main content

Grateful Dead Live at Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden on 1971-12-05

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden on 1971-12-05

Topics Live concert

Bertha, Beat It On Down The Line, Big Boss Man, Brown Eyed Women, Muddy Water, Jack Straw, Mr. Charlie, Tennessee Jed, El Paso, Deal, Playin' In The Band, Next Time You See Me, Comes A Time, Casey Jones, One More Saturday Night Truckin', Ramble On Rose, It Hurts Me Too, Sugaree, Sugar Magnolia, Dark Star Jam-> Me & My Uncle-> Dark Star Jam-> Sitting On Top Of The World, Me And Bobby McGee, Big Railroad Blues, Mexicali Blues, You Win Again, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away, E: Johnny B. Goode

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden
Location New York, NY

Source Soundboard
Lineage Pre-FM > MR > DAT > CD
Taped by
Transferred by


Pre-FM > MR > DAT > CD; stemming from Merry Prankster tree #6; tree seeded by Charlie Miller; SHN branch by Michael Weise?; notes: no encore, complete Muddy Water, small cut in Casey Jones, chatter edited; see pub comments for md5 notes


Reviewer: nymike1953 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2017
Subject: the old testament
it's been said that cornell'77 was the holy grail of shows and that may be true in some way but this one is was unprecedented in its impact with the first presentation of over 12 new songs that wouldn't appear on record till the following year and that it was broadcast live throughout the new york area creating an instant bootleg for thousands of heads. and then there was the high energy performances that were totally inspiring. still gives me chills 40 plus years later.
Reviewer: chicagomobrob - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 14, 2015
Subject: Awesome
Goddam this show is good!
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 4, 2012
Subject: --
Don't be put off by the sound - it's easy to be, because there are so many outstanding boards from this era, fall '71, that set the bar pretty high - so high for us spoiled deadheads that it can be easy to overlook a great, great show when the quality is anything but a Rice Krispies breakfast.

I initially discarded this performance and went back later to really check if my gut reaction was worth anything, and I found myself slapping my head Homer Simpson-style. Sure, it's echoey, it's muffled, it's shaky, the reels flip channels once in a's, in short, a damned mess, but DAMN.....through it all comes that playing, that out-of-control-cat-on-fire-71 precision that absolutely has to be heard. Everything is played helter-skelter-FM-bass crazy - just let yourself be won over by this, as I did.

So, yeah, this thing is anything but *crispy*....but gimme seconds!
Reviewer: Dr. Kimble - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2010
Subject: Was I There?
I was at one of the Felt Forum concerts. It was very long and lasted late into the night. Jerry sat in with the New Riders. Which night was it. (No, I dont' remember the exact set list)
Reviewer: DoseMeister - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2010
Subject: Essential show
Count me as another person who wore out his tape of this show years ago. In fact, this was the first bootleg recording of the Dead I ever had. My friend recorded 45 minutes of it from a radio rebroadcast and I must have listened to it a couple hundred times in high school.

Everything's high energy yet very relaxed at the same time. Don't know if it has any spectacular individual moments but as an overall performance it's a winner.

Yeah, the recording is a little wonky in places. I'm not personally bothered by that stuff but if you are, knock off a star.
Reviewer: ah_uh_oh_um - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 15, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live In Concert" December 5, 1971, at the Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


My first GRATEFUL DEAD show was the night before.

I was 16 when I saw the GRATEFUL DEAD.

The New Yorkers always energized the GRATEFUL DEAD. Here's an upbeat-high-energy show from NYC.

What makes this show even more special is that this is a PIGPEN & KEITH show. You cant' have too many of those.

This show is not the cleanest mixed and recorded show the GRATEFUL DEAD ever did, but it is what it sounded like on the FM Stereo Radio. I remember everyone recording this show off the radio onto cassettes.

Get all 4 shows at the Felt Forum, December 4,5,6, & 7, 1971. They are a "Must Have" for all collectors of the GRATEFUL DEAD.

1971 is my favorite year of the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Full of vim and vigor the GRATEFUL DEAD blow away the New York crowd. Listen to the show and witness the fun, excitement, and enjoyment.

It's not a 5 star show "audio wise" but "performance wise" it is. I rate this show 5 stars.

Here's one way to stream/dowload this show:

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer.

RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

Using RealPlayer to view this webpage, click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist.

If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer.

Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it.

When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder.

Repeat these steps for each song.


Hook up audio cables (1/8th inch stereo male jack with two rca male jacks at the other end) from your headphone jack on your computer to your audio input on your Reel to Reel, Cassette,VHS, CD, DVD, MP3, recorder and record it in real time...duh?

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD, for tomorrow we may die....

Thanks for the LOVE from 1971.

PS: Remember to click on the "DeadLists Project" link and get the "Felt Forum Ticket Stub" for this show.

Remember to get the New Riders of the Purple Sage, they opened the show:
Reviewer: Dylan M - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2009
Subject: Sounds Pretty Good
Nobody will deny that this is a classic show. Pig and Keith with no Donna, blazing and well jammed out numbers, over three hours of fine music. Any one of us would have been Grateful to be there.

The sound is a little weird tho. Yes, i know that this is a major upgrade from what was previously around (thanks Charlie!) and maybe i am just spoiled by the amazingly crisp sounding other recordings on this site. This sound (pre-FM) mix sounds like a very well editing and adjusted AUD recording at times, and others is SBD. So it might be an upgrade, and i might be spoiled, but the sound is uneven, especially if your a SBD freak.

5 for performance
3 for sound
4 overall
Reviewer: azjones - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2008
Subject: Dial Up
Yep Its dialup. Also you can download if you know how so its worth the price of better internet service until you get all you want! Oh yea I give it a 4 for the show. Pre FM sound is just ok. beats my old used up tape!
Reviewer: Bones and Roses - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 1, 2008
Subject: about to lose it here
can anyone give me some help here my freinds, when i go to just listen to these concerts the songs skip and play for about a second then nothing,, then play for second and then stop nothing,, i cant even get listen for 2 seconds,, i have dial up is this the root of it?? i have a nice Hp laptop with Vista, i have Windows Media player when i paly thru its the same thing? any ideas about what im doing wrong? is it the dial up?
Reviewer: jgbeehive - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2008
Subject: @amacomber, & a tasty show
amacomber, you can only download live GD recordings, and not soundboards (like this one). You used to be able to, but.. check out the faqs and search 'grateful dead' for a little more info..
welcome to archive! this is a good show to stumble upon your first time.

The show really gets off to a great start, very very high energy, and they seem to keep things under control. one of keith's first shows, and they also bust out some new songs. Def a must listen.
Feel that groove in Mister Charlie?
Reviewer: amacomber - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2008
Subject: How do you download files?
Hey guys, this is my first time using this site and I can't seem to figure out how to download the concert. I've tried right clicking and saving the individual files, and opening them, but it just opens up a new page with random code on it. Can anyone help me out, this concert sounds awesome.
Reviewer: Marian424 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2008
Subject: Not Fade Away
I loved this show when I was sixteen and I love it now. I remember my brothers taping it off the radio on our parents' reel-to-reel. It was thrilling - I'd loved the Grateful Dead since sixth grade.

Later I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and in my 18 years there saw hundreds of shows.

Last week my 11 year-old son played at the elementary school talent show. There he stood on stage with his electrified acoustic guitar, looking completely at home. You can imagine how beautiful it was to hear him rip into his blazin' version of "Not Fade Away."

Love IS real, not fade away.
Reviewer: batcaver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 21, 2008
Subject: Casey Lesh
Phil drives this train through a number of sonic peaks and values. It's really fun to hear this in digital format. His work on Comes a Time is particularly tastey.
Reviewer: serpentbox - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 14, 2008
Subject: Love it
What a feeling - to simply hear Bill Graham introduce the band made my spine tingle. The energy is high here and the sound is good, but there is a strange muted quality to it. Still, all in all a very fine show with some marvelous moments. It's a keeper and my iPod will soon grow to love it.
Reviewer: jjjjeff - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2008
Subject: I fully agree
Good analysis mid-maine. This was one of my first tapes (1st set) back in the day ('82) and I just listened to it the other day. What a set!! I had never heard set II so i just checked it out today. I agree that the first set is better, although the NFA>GDTRFB>NFA is killer. I forget if it's in the NFA jam, but I remember hearing the opening chords to China Cat somewhere, but the boys never went in that direction.

One of the best of the timeframe!
Reviewer: mid-maine - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 22, 2007
Subject: flawless, imho
i first obtained an XLII of this in '85. i didn't wear it out. it was a cherished tape that i cared for dearly. i actually dubbed my original so that i could wear out the copies. it's that darn good.

the only 'muddy water' ever sends chills down my spine. it's spontaneous sounding. full tones, jerry's plaintive yokel yowel, a tight arrangement, who could ask for more? this tune always sends me the message of what a special era this was.

the 'bertha,' 'comes a time,' and 'tennessee jed' all show that jerry had a special spark on this night. for me, the first set even outshines the second. perhaps that's because i had only a tape of the first back when, and that's the nostalgia factor kickin' in.

the fm compression has always been good to my ears. sometimes, the pristine boards miss out on the sound of the room, the pa echo and the crowd. this recording, though compressed, has a rare tone that is refreshing. boards are sometimes far more lifeless.

great banter about visiting the fridge, spinning tapes, and smoking coconuts. definitely a high water mark. those in attendance were lucky, indeed.
Reviewer: marshotl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 10, 2007
Subject: Recollection
This show was originally aired on WNEW-FM in NYC. NRPS was the opening act and I seem to recall 3 sets total. Buried somewhere in my archives are the original recordings. My real fuzzy recollection is the DJ was Pat Dawson who later hosted all kinds of different things from classical music shows to Sinatra before finally working as a TV reporter.

Great show that brings back lots of happy memories.
Reviewer: TheOtherOne1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2007
Subject: Stellar!
For cryin' out loud, this show's nearly 37 years old. This stream sounds great even on my laptop! Thoroughly enjoyable...I need to check-out more 1971 shows. I'm having a good time over here.

I particularly like the "Sittin' on Top of the World" and the "You Win Again."

Enjoy! Whoever uploaded this recording--thanks!
Reviewer: stark dar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2006
Subject: Spoiled?
Maybe we can all just have 1st gen sbds of every show so we won't have to stress. Does anyone remember tape trading? I go to a different show every day and I don't even have to leave the house. Just be stoked and appreciate what we got, its not like the next tour is gonna be better. I had the vinyl bootleg and thought it was the shit. I still remember the picture of Jerry on the cover with a white strat? keep the faith if you got it!
Reviewer: FlankyToe - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2006
Subject: Rings True Like a Glory Bell
Here's what's happening here that's Boss: It's The first season of winter concerts in NYC After Bill Graham closed up the Filmore East for good. The Era of the filmore was over and Gone. This is now a Bill Graham production at Madison Square Garden, and is featuring this night on radio of days of concerts. The original Grateful Dead of Self Sign was used here like in the Filmore for the last time. The sound of this particular show is conditioned to FCC specs for radio transmission. There were equalizers that were run with sweep generators by the radio station for hours over and over ALL DAY in the theater before the performance to tune the audio lines, which was over special phone connections by AT&T back then, which is the closest thing there is to fiber optics today. The Radio signal is compressed into a 20 db wide gain envelope, and it has between 2 and 4 DB more gain in one channel, to maintain modulation in the transmitted signal. Also Notable is that Some of these cuts ended up on a vinyl bootleg less than a month later that circulated all over NYC and the east coast and back to the west coast. There was a scratch on the first song that was cut with the records and was on all of em. This was also when Keith started going hard with the band, so there is an excellent honky tonk piano in the jams and blues that is fresh and cutting it's teeth. Also, since this is one of their first ever performances on radio in NYC, with an audience of aboout 20 million people in a metro area, they were playing to their best in live band instrumentation cuts. I had three different recorders recording it on casette as it was aired, and those tapes disappeared to people back in 1987. The guitars ring the best with this mix on Mr. charlie, el paso, jack straw, comes a time, and so on. All the blues is so perfect. We used to listen to this recorded onto 8 Tracks riding all over the country going to the shows in the 70's over and over forever. The dead air is a by product of coordinating with the radio production crews. The Band was more than able to deal with this as they went into big time touring and recording for the albums that followed. IT was the pinnacle of an age that ran through Watkins Glen and into the late 70's. You could put 5 to 8 people in a van or micro bus and take about 400 bucks and go all summer from show to show. Gas was less then 50 cents a gallon. Ten bucks fed everyone or filled the tank.

What a heyday !!!!! Smokin !!
Reviewer: flashbackmagic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 14, 2006
Subject: very nice
Nice long show, great sound quality here. One of the most upbeat TN Jed's Ive ever heard, you cant go wrong with this one.

Its a keeper for sure
Reviewer: BostonIndica - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 13, 2006
Subject: great show!
this show is great. if you want it in your collection i recommend you:

1) download SHN's from
2) convert to WAV
3) open audio editor and fix SBE's (if any)@ the beginning of each track...fades mainly
4) -40 cents pitch correction (it needs it on some songs)
5) save WAV

(6) convert to MP3 for your ipod :)

Reviewer: jammy - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 9, 2005
Subject: Muddy sound
Good show with some fine playing. I haven't met a 71 show I don't like. Sound is somewhat compressed/muddy but still very listenable. Only Muddy Water. The Dark Star Jam->SOTOTW is sweet indeed. This is download worthy.
3.5 because of the compressed sound

Do a lot of people listen to dead air w/o talking etc? I would just skip over it anyway.
Reviewer: jmrdead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 7, 2005
Subject: WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!
This has always been one of my favorite shows from this era. The band is hot this particular night and is worth a download. Despite the lack of endless dead air, this copy is very listenable and enjoyable.
Reviewer: geronimo1 - favorite - September 1, 2005
Subject: GARBAGE
More junk because of those wonderful cuts in between songs. At least I'm getting smart enough to stream this stuff first. If your after a show, the effect is ruined.
Reviewer: Ole Uncle John - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2005
Subject: 5 Star playing
although as others have said the sound is not as clear as other 71s (like previous night). From Bill Graham's enthusiastic intros "If there ever was a Godfather of Rock n Roll its this guy ...Jerry Garcia" to the closing notes this was another memorable night in New York City. Again Jerry's guitar just sqeals with delight on this mix, Deal, BEW, are keepers.The energy these kids put into the Casey Jones,Saturday Night set closers make 77 seem like 'old men with guitars' Just stream Jerry's opening slide work on Hurts Me Too and you'll see there is no reason to delay. DOWNLOAD NOW.
Reviewer: Jon Blanton - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2005
Subject: December 5th, 1971
An excellent show and setlist, mastered with nice and clear sound quality. It's certainly not the best soundboard you'll come across (its got a little air in it) but otherwise its a near-perfect mix done with the most clarity that this particular show could have.

One star knocked off for the not completely cleaned up mix, (it would be four and a half if it didn't work with full stars.) But hey...if that's the best they could do, its still fantastic, and we're fortunate to have this available.

A great show. Stream it, check it out. Reccomended.
Reviewer: Fat Balloon - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2004
Subject: At last!
Wow, a listenable copy of Felt Forum 12/5/71! I could never find anything besides my wretched FM tape back in my analog trading days. This one has a much bigger setlist than I was aware of. If you're just passing through, you owe it to yourself to take a listen to the Dark Star Jam->Me and My Uncle->Dark Star Jam->Sittin'. The transitions are exquisite; going in, the band is so very smooth, while coming out, it's like they slam the gearshift into reverse while driving 60mph. Take your pick and hold on for the fun. Sound quality is not as good as other pre-FMs from this era (like 10/19/71) or else I'd love to give this more than 3 stars. Still, no complaining here! This is a great '71 find (also make sure to enjoy the NFA->GDTRFB->NFA). Many, many thanks to those who made this possible.
info Stream Only
Stream playlist
( VBR )
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 6/7/2004
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 43,456
favorite 31
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 27,353
favorite 28
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 49,655
favorite 73
comment 21
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 21 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 4,610
favorite 12
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: SBD -> Master Reel -> Dat
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 11,440
favorite 26
comment 13
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 13 reviews )
Source: FM -> Master Reel
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 13,354
favorite 20
comment 10
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 10 reviews )
Source: Pre-FM>MR>DAT>CD>SHN
New Riders of the Purple Sage
by New Riders of the Purple Sage
eye 5,926
favorite 9
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Source: 7 inch FM Master Reel recorded at 7½ ips
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 7,197
favorite 9
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Source: SBD -> Master Reel -> Apogee AD500 -> Dat
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 1,963
favorite 5
comment 0
Source: flac16: aud reel master>reel>dat, taped by Marty Weinberg, Jerry Moore's copy transferred by Rob Berger
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 4,082
favorite 4
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: SBD -> Master Reel -> Apogee AD500 -> Dat